They visit people’s homes, go grocery shopping with them, and see how they take their medication. They listen to people talk about their everyday lives, challenges, hopes and dreams. And they do so in countries across the world.
Novo Nordisk anthropologists Kirsten Lauritsen and Eva Tang Vangkilde have visited hundreds of people living with diabetes and obesity to better understand their daily lives. It is their job to find out whether our solutions, whether it be an insulin pen or a patient support program, meet actual patient needs - not needs we assume they have.
“People with chronic diseases lead very complex and difficult lives. On top of taking care of their jobs and families, they often face other challenges as well such as additional health-related issues. As a result, managing their chronic disease might not be a priority,” Kirsten explains.
“When designing devices such as insulin pens for people living with chronic diseases, we have to understand that providing state-of-the-art technical solutions will not necessarily make them follow their treatment plan. We have to make sure that the treatment is seamless and that they have the support they need.”